Stretch Film vs Cling Wrap: Is There a Difference?

Stretch Film vs Cling Wrap: Is There a Difference?

By AAA Polymer | Stretch Wrap

Mar 05

If you package any type of product or pallet, you've more than likely encountered the stretch film vs cling wrap decision. While both stretch film vs cling wrap may be terms that are used interchangeably, these two materials are very different. And if you get these two terms confused, you're not alone.

Fortunately, the team at AAA Polymer has provided crystal clear clarity on the differences between stretch film vs cling wrap. Continue reading to learn more and don't hesitate to reach out to the AAA Polymer team today for the best solution. 

What Is Stretch Film? 

Stretch film or stretch wrap is a clear, elastic material that is used to stretch around pallets or boxed before transportation and shipping. The unique elastic recovery or stretchability of stretch film is ideal for securing products and making sure they are bound tightly. 

Using stretch film to secure pallets or products is a highly cost-efficient and effective solution compared to other types of material. And once the stretch wrap is applied, it boasts a remarkable level of protection. 

Different Types of Stretch Film

Because one-size-fits-all solutions rarely work, stretch film is offered in an array of types, sizes, formulations, and thicknesses. Some of the most common types of stretch film are listed below:

Machine Stretch Film

As the name suggests, machine stretch film is designed to be applied by a machine. It offers several advantages over hand stretch film including efficiency, safety, speed, and lower materials cost. At the same time, machine stretch film leads to more secure loads. 

Hand Stretch Film

Hand stretch film, in contrast to machine stretch film, is designed to be applied by hand. This type of film is regularly used in smaller capacity operations. While hand stretch film may not offer the efficiency, speed, and scale of machine stretch, it's an attractive option if you're looking to avoid the capital expense of a stretch film machine. 

Pre-Stretched Types of Stretch Film

Pre-stretched film has been previously stretched to the limit or maximum breaking point. Because it has already been stretched, it doesn't require as much effort or energy in the application as a standard stretch film would need to achieve the same wrapping force. 

Custom Colored Stretch Film

Colored stretch wraps and films are transparent packaging solutions offered in a broad spectrum of hues. 

UV Stabilized Stretch Film

UV stabilized stretch film offers weathering resistance and radiation absorption. Thanks to an extra UV blocker additive, this film can block out harmful UV radiation. Best of all, it's transparent, so you can still see through the film to identify the contents underneath. 

What Is Cling Wrap?

Cling wrap, cling film, plastic wrap, Saran wrap, or Glad wrap is a thin film used primarily for sealing food in containers to preserve it for extended periods. Cling wrap is commonly sold on rolls in boxes that have a cutting edge. This material is designed to cling to smooth surfaces as well as itself. Cling wrap is engineered to maintain a tight stretch over some time without the use of adhesive. 

Types of Cling Wrap

The common type of cling wrap found in residences is 75 ft long, while most commercial roles start at 1000 feet. The standard gauge or thickness of cling film is 35, but you can opt for a variety of different widths as well as the type of cling wrap. 

Cling Wrap with Cutter Box

One of the most common types of cling wrap is the plastic wrap with cutter box, which is the standard design you'll see on consumer-grade products. Oftentimes more durable, commercial-grade cling wrap with cutter box is perfect for use in delis, bakeries, and kitchens. It features a cutter box that has metal teeth across the width of the box to simplify pulling and tear cutting. 

Cling Wrap with Sliding Cutter

These rolls of cling wrap are identical to cling wrap with the cutter box. The only difference is that the sliding cutter design is much easier and safer to use. Although sliding cutter cling wrap is more expensive, it can offer you the added advantage of efficiency and safety. With this roll, an easy-to-use sliding mechanism makes a clean cut on the film at the desired length. 

Pre-Perforated Cling Wrap

As the name suggests, this type of cling wrap allows you to remove a pre-cut sheet of cling wrap with speed and ease. In addition to the food and hospitality industry, perforated cling wraps are also used by printing companies, hair salons, and more. 

Machine Cling Wrap

Just as a stretch film can be applied manually or mechanically, cling wrap is the same. Cling wrap equipment is designed to quickly and effortlessly cut and dispense cling wrap. Machine cling wrap is offered in an array of sizes to meet virtually any need. 

What's the Difference Between Stretch Film vs Cling Film

Both stretch films and cling films are plastic wraps used for packaging, but each material is used differently. Stretch film and stretch wraps are used to wrap cartons and pallets of products. It's exceptional durability and elasticity allows it to forge a reliable barrier that securely holds pallets boxes or cartons in place. The bond is so strong it's capable of securing boxes throughout transportation and storage. Alternatively, cling film protects food items to increase its shelf life without deteriorating quality. 

Can Stretch Film and Cling Film Be Used to Wrap Food?

In short, the answer is yes. Yet, there is a difference between stretch film and cling film that is often presumed to be true, but not accepted universally. In many instances, stretch films can be used to wrap food containers while cling film can be applied to the food itself. 

Contact AAA Polymer

At AAA Polymer, we offer one of the largest and most diverse inventories of stretch wraps, stretch films, shrink wraps, and more. Our team of product experts will get to know your unique needs and guide you to the best solution. 

Contact AAA Polymer today to learn more.

About the Author

AAA Polymer, Inc. was founded in 1974, as a plastic resin and material trading company with an innovative vision to create a company to provide plastic recycling services for industrial/commercial businesses. If you have any questions, we're here for you. Just call us at 718.389.2498.

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